Advice needed, panicking

Former777FDO

Registered Member
I was placed on temp. Retirement in September of 2016 for patella femoral pain syndrome and major depressive disorder. At the time I was being treated with medicine and talk therapy for my depression but niether were helping me and I asked the doc to stop prescribing the pills and that the therapist wasn't getting me anywhere. At the same time my knee was bumped to grade four which makes me a candidate for surgery but my VA doc told me they wouldn't ask for the consult until my BMI dropped. I'm not super heavy but for military standards I understand. Regardless I went outside of the VA and got my MRI results showing I was grade four where before the VA wouldn't even ask for the MRI. Fast forward to today and I am up for my re-exam, I admittedly have used marijuana on occasion for my sleep issues, depression, and pain. Not frequently but when needed and it's helped a lot. I'm worried that a combination of me not staying on the pills for depression and not going through the VA for my MRI is going to cause me to lose my retirement benefits. When I say worried I'm in a full on panicking. Does anyone have any insight to this process? Am I justified in my panic? Is my family going to lose insurance because of me not going through the VA? Is it too late for me to submit my MRI results to the VA? I don't have a date for my re-exam yet. Any advice would be appreciated
 

tony292

PEB Forum Veteran
As far as the marijuana and not taking the depression pills, they won’t know unless you tell them those particular details. I would just flat out tell them the depression meds aren’t working and ask to be switched to a different med.
I suffered with severe mental health problems for 3 years before finding a med that worked....

As for the MRI, say you wanted a second opinion and then submit the MRIs to VA for rating purposes.
 

Warrior644

Staff Member
PEB Forum Lifetime Supporter
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
I was placed on temp. Retirement in September of 2016 for patella femoral pain syndrome and major depressive disorder. At the time I was being treated with medicine and talk therapy for my depression but niether were helping me and I asked the doc to stop prescribing the pills and that the therapist wasn't getting me anywhere. At the same time my knee was bumped to grade four which makes me a candidate for surgery but my VA doc told me they wouldn't ask for the consult until my BMI dropped. I'm not super heavy but for military standards I understand. Regardless I went outside of the VA and got my MRI results showing I was grade four where before the VA wouldn't even ask for the MRI. Fast forward to today and I am up for my re-exam, I admittedly have used marijuana on occasion for my sleep issues, depression, and pain. Not frequently but when needed and it's helped a lot. I'm worried that a combination of me not staying on the pills for depression and not going through the VA for my MRI is going to cause me to lose my retirement benefits. When I say worried I'm in a full on panicking. Does anyone have any insight to this process? Am I justified in my panic? Is my family going to lose insurance because of me not going through the VA? Is it too late for me to submit my MRI results to the VA? I don't have a date for my re-exam yet. Any advice would be appreciated
Welcome to the PEB Forum! :)

Hmm, it seems that you were placed onto the DoD military TDRL prior to 1 January 2017. If my assumption is valid then you shall have a maximum tenure of five years on the TDRL albeit there isn't any entitlement to be retained for the entire period.

As such, I shall provide feedback to your specific questions as follows:

Q1: Does anyone have any insight to this process?
A1a: Yes with 4 years and 17 days on the TDRL for PTSD prior to my official placement onto the PDRL at a DoD (Army) 100% disability rating in 2018.
A1b: Reference my URL It's Official: Final Placement onto the DoD PDRL is Approved via the Secretary of the Army! for detailed information.

Q2: Am I justified in my panic?
A2: Unknown; don't know your entire medical situation while placed on the TDRL.

Q3: Is my family going to lose insurance because of me not going through the VA?
A3: Unknown; don't know your entire medical situation while placed on the TDRL.

Q4: Is it too late for me to submit my MRI results to the VA?
A4a: No.
A4b: Also, you should immediately submit a copy of the MRI results to your assigned TDRL PEBLO and/or directly to your military branch of service TDRL department/branch upon the notification of your TDRL medical re-examination.

In my experienced opinion from an U.S. Army perspective, your military branch of service TDRL department/branch's LDES PEB is suppose to review all available medical evidence and medical documentation while on TDRL to determine if your PEB-referred "unfit for duty" medical condition(s) for which placed you onto the TDRL is(are) now considered "permanent and stable" for DoD rating purposes only.

That all said, have you been seen by any medical provider (other than the DoVA VHA) on a consistent basis for the patella femoral pain syndrome and major depressive disorder while on the TDRL? If yes, then it's very important to obtain copies of those medical documents and forward them to your assigned TDRL PEBLO and/or directly to your military branch of service TDRL department/branch for inclusion into your TDRL case file during the forthcoming TDRL re-evaluation.

While placed onto the TDRL, it's important to mention that you are not mandated to have any follow-on medical treatment performed exclusively by the DoVA VHA; any medical provider is sufficient whether it's via the military and/or civilian healthcare communities. The key factor is to have (e.g., show) consistent follow-up medical healthcare treatments for all PEB-referred "unfit for duty" medical conditions while placed on the TDRL. Unfortunately, a lack of medical evidence and/or medical documentation could potentially send an unfavorable message (e.g., condition has become better & is stable when it's indeed not) to the LDES PEB which could result in unfavorable findings (e.g., less than a DoD 30% rating when it's indeed not) during the TDRL re-evaluation.

As based upon your aforementioned comments nonetheless, it would seem that your PEB-referred "unfit for duty" medical conditions which placed you onto the TDRL are still "unstable" at this particular point in time. If so and given your current medical situation, it may be highly advantageous for you to be continued onto the TDRL for another 12 months. You can do this by thoroughly explaining that your medical situation has not improved or became worst (or both) to the medical physician performing the TDRL medical re-examination. This course of action may need to be implemented especially if there exist a lack of medical healthcare treatment records to validate your continually current (e.g., worst) symptomology for the patella femoral pain syndrome and major depressive disorder at least in my experienced opinion.

If you are successfully continued onto the TDRL for another 12 months or longer, then I would strongly suggest that you work closely with a medical healthcare provider (military, civilian, DoVA) on a consistent basis in order to try to stabilize your patella femoral pain syndrome and major depressive disorder until a resolution is finally determined. At that point, you should concentrate all of your efforts to become medically well as feasible as possible with properly documented healthcare treatments.

Upon the results of the well-documented medical healthcare treatments by a medical provider for your patella femoral pain syndrome and major depressive disorder during the next DoD military TDRL re-evaluation (if continued from the initial/previous TDRL re-evaluation), you may have an opportunity for placement onto the DoD military PDRL if a determination can be made by the LDES PEB that all PEB-referred "unfit for duty" conditions for which placed you onto the TDRL are then considered "permanent and stable" for DoD rating purposes only.

To any extent for DoD rating purposes on stability, a medical assumption can be made by the LDES PEB that the TDRL medical conditions will either "remain the same" or "will not improve" over the remaining duration of the TDRL tenure or up to the five year maximum tenure before a decision is mandated by federal law. Please implement and maintain a "positively proactive" approach while on the TDRL in order to potentially receive the best outcomes/results during the TDRL re-evaluation(s). Take care!

Thus, I quite often comment that "possessing well-informed knowledge is truly a powerful equalizer!"

Best Wishes!
 

chaplaincharlie

Staff Member
PEB Forum Lifetime Supporter
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
@tony292's advice is good. If they ask why you aren't taking meds, give them all the side effects. Side effects are very common and docs know this well. Look up your meds on any rx site. Highlight all the side effects known you had for each med. If your not asked about marijuana, which I doubt, I'd not mention it.

Heavy use of MJ stays in your urine for upto 90 days. But in most C&P exams UA and blood draws are not made.
 
data-matched-content-ui-type="image_stacked" data-matched-content-rows-num="3" data-matched-content-columns-num="1" data-ad-format="autorelaxed">
Top